Our geography, ourselves
Our geography, ourselves

What determines behavior? That's a question with a lot of partial answers. Upbringing. Genes. Brain chemistry. Peers. Sunday morning sermons. Inane values communicated in TV ads. The levels of various hormones in the fluid we marinated in as fetuses. The list goes on and on. Many of these influences can be grouped under the nebulous category of "culture." Examples of cultural influences on behavior are numerous. Austrians, say, are more likely to ski than Tahitians. But some differences are less obvious. For example, monotheistic religions tend to come from desert cultures, while rain forest cultures tend to be polytheistic. And societies of people who make a living as...